The value of improved road safety
We report the results of a contingent valuation study for finding a conservative estimate of the value-of-statistical-life in an urban road safety context in Sweden. We estimate the value of both a private-good device and a public-good safety program. The reduction of risk is communicated with a “community analogy” representation of the “Vision Zero” target of the national traffic-safety policy. According to this target, the road-traffic system should be designed so as to prevent accidents when they happen to lead to fatalities or severe injuries. We use the “certainty approach” for ex-post correction of results to remove or mitigate hypothetical bias of responses. As expected we find insensitivity of responses in the full sample to the size of the risk reduction being valued. By our approach we can compute a conservative estimate, based on answers from fully confident respondents, of the value of the largest possible safety enhancement (i.e. fulfilment of the “Vision Zero”). This lower bound estimate indicates a higher average willingness-to-pay for public safety-improving measures than currently assumed in benefit-cost assessments. We also find that the willingness to pay is considerably lower within a public-good than a private-good framework and a weak indication of sensitivity to scale among the most confident respondents. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006
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